Saint Paul, Minnesota

Nicholas Galanin and Merritt Johnson, Creation and her children, 2017, mixed media, 62 × 84 × 74".

Nicholas Galanin and Merritt Johnson, Creation and her children, 2017, mixed media, 62 × 84 × 74".

Nicholas Galanin

Law Warschaw Gallery, Macalester College

On-screen, a break-dancer’s fluid movements rhythmically align with a Tlingit song. When voice and drumbeat end, club music takes over and accompanies a Tlingit dancer’s slow, circling steps. This pair of videos, Tsu Héidei Shugaxtutaan I and II, both 2006—whose titles translate to “We Will Again Open This Container of Wisdom That Has Been Left in Our Care”—epitomized Nicholas Galanin’s interest in remixing cultural references and bridging the past and present. The title of his recent exhibition, “Everything We’ve Ever Been, Everything We Are Right Now,” suggested an expansive view of ever-emergent identities and histories, of the not quite yet. Addressing the legacies of violence inflicted on Native peoples, Galanin insisted on nuance as a route to addressing trauma and allowing for transformation.

Creation and her children, 2017, showed a knife-wielding mother carving her own face. Her

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